We are at the end of 2018. It has been an excellent year for blockchain developments, with bitcoin becoming one of the hottest topics on the internet, thanks to the price boom and other related cryptocurrencies.
However, today, we will be focusing on the best blockchain news of 2018. It will include many aspects of blockchain including cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, startups, and legislation or regulations surrounding it. So, why wait? Let’s get started.
Blockchain News, the best of 2018
There would be no blockchain news without mentioning cryptocurrencies. One of the biggest news of 2018 surrounding cryptocurrencies is the bear market. We saw markets remain flat for most of the period with prices remaining stable for a more extended period of times.
Miners were also impacted deeply with the price drop. The revenue has fallen as much as 22% for Bitcoin miners. However, the hash rate for Bitcoin has grown by 26%.
At the time of writing, the total market capitalization stands at a mere $123 billion compared to a whopping $750 billion at the start of the year. We can infer that from the chart from CoinMarketCap.
The interest of the general public is also declining over-time with the most interest seen in late 2017 December and early 2018 January.
We also saw new cryptocurrencies overflow the market. Right now, we have more than 2000+ cryptocurrencies that are listed on coinmarketcap.
The security aspect of the blockchain has not been great as almost $80M has already been stolen due to different hacks including the Bitcoin Gold 51% attack, Bithumb exchange hack, and Conrail exchange hack.
Blockchain technology is still in its infant stage and is growing at a rapid pace from a technological point of view. Blockchain technology also saw new implementation and growth in 2018 with each blockchain technology improving their technology in their own way.
Bitcoin lightning network saw massive improvements and is now in its testing phase. It is exposed as we write and 300+ merchants are already using it to see its feasibility. Two important aspects of Bitcoin lightning network are in works including the Lightning Network Daemon and Neutrino. Multiple teams across the world are working on the lightning network and to make sure their implementations work together, BOLTs specifications are released by core blockchain team.
You can also read about Lightning network here.
EOS finally came out of its ICO phase. Its initial release didn’t go smoothly as it struggled to run flawlessly and was crippled with technical difficulties. Their ICO raised $4 billion in its ICO and is the biggest ICO of all time. Their ICO ended on June 1.
HyperLedger has also been the talk of the town in 2018. It is an open source blockchain technologies that aim to develop an enterprise level blockchain framework with the help of the cross-industry blockchain collaboration. It is not a cryptocurrency, but a collection of tools, frameworks and standards that will help advance blockchain in the right direction.
Startups have proactively worked with blockchain technology to use and implement it in different sectors. Blockchain has always been a game changer and startups are innovating it with the help of blockchain.
That holds true in the case of enterprises as well. According to the survey done by Deloitte, 84% of the global executives believe that blockchain will soon become mainstream. There are many promising startups of 2018 including NXM labs, Oasis Labs, Sagewise, and so on.
Other promising startups include Gemini, Fidelity and Bakkt.
Gemini is the next generation digital asset platform which is pegged against actual US dollar. It is quite successful in the market and has already raised a total of $59.68 million.
Bakkt, on the other hand, is trying to bring stability to the market by trying to get their Bitcoin ETFs to pass. They are also bringing trust o the market with the help of Microsoft and Starbucks. It is managed by no other than New York Stock Exchange and will open doors for institutional investors to the crypto market.
Lastly, Fidelity will also change how the market works. It is managed by Fidelity Investments which holds access to $7.2 trillion US dollars in client assets. Both Bakkt and Fidelity aims to improve the market volatility and bring crypto to the mass users.
One of the biggest regulation that came from one of the largest democracy in the world, i.e., India. India banned cryptocurrency in the quarter two of 2018 which didn’t have much impact on the pricing.
Securities and Exchange Commision(SEC) also came forward by announcing that BTC and ETH are not securities. This impacted the price of both the cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain LLC is also playing a key role in empowering the blockchain startups across the world. They are the new player in the market and have already made their presence felt by purchasing lands in Nevada in order to create the world’s first Distributed Collaborative Entity (DCE). They aim to improve how business uses blockchain by keeping the customers’ rights intact. However, their about us page reflect them as currently focusing on the financial services applications. They have ambitious plans and are attracting and hiring top talent. One to watch!
A lot of other key hubs are also opening around the world including Malta, Gibraltar and others. Malta especially is attracting a lot of blockchain startups thanks to the approved regulatory framework for blockchain technology. It hence is the most friendly blockchain country in the world.
As we already mentioned, blockchain technology is comparatively new compared to other technologies out there. As the field is new, we are seeing a lot of new players in the market, including startups. The enterprise players are now very keen to use blockchain to improve their systems integrity and workflow.
When it comes to cryptocurrency, we witnessed bear market for the 2nd half of 2018. We hope that the year 2019 brings some positive news and bring the market back to where it was. Technically, blockchain has also improved. Bitcoin, for example, is getting closer to releasing its lighting network to the masses which will make it ideal for day-to-day transactions with minimal fees and improved transaction time.
So, what do you think about blockchain growth in 2018? What changes you think will come in the near future? Comment below and let us know.